Garda College bar pays Revenue €38,000 in underdeclared tax

C&AG report notes internal Garda review prompted voluntary payment

Garda College in Templemore Co Tipperary. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Garda College in Templemore Co Tipperary. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

The bar at the Garda College in Templemore, Co Tipperary has recently paid €38,000 to the Revenue Commissioners after underpaying its taxes.

The sum was paid by the Garda, unprompted, after its own internal review earlier this year. Revenue has yet to make a deliberation on the tax compliance of the bar.

Payment of the monies follows serious revelations about the college earlier this year, including significant sums of monies being moved between bank accounts, some of which were not known about by external or internal audits.

A report by the Public Accounts Committee also pointed to bank accounts being opened without consent, and European Union funds for training not being used for their rightful purpose.

Details of the latest payment to Revenue are contained in the annual report on the accounts of the public service by the Comptroller & Auditor General Séamus McCarthy.

It noted that last May, Garda Headquarters in Dublin commissioned an external accountant to review the tax affairs of several commercial entities providing ancillary services at the Garda College. These included the shop, bar, restaurant and Sportsfield Company Ltd, which manages sports facilities linked to the college.

All were in order except for the bar. Incorrect accounting meant VAT on bar sales to the value of €8,300 was outstanding since 2010; some €4,200 in interest and penalties was owed on that money.

There had been “incorrect treatment of the payroll” on casual wages between 2014 and 2016. This resulted in a liability of €8,800 plus interest and penalties of €1,500.

The report also noted the Office of Public Works acquired a large farm 6km from Templemore for the Garda College in 2006 for €4.3 million. It was to be used for tactical training and to facilitate expanded Garda recruitment as the college became crowded.

Despite there being a Garda golf club located across the road from the college, the report noted that no consideration had been given to developing that site for an expansion of the college to accommodate the larger numbers of recruits.